Parents and Families,
As hard as it may be to believe, your SBU
student’s first semester is drawing rapidly to a close. Every
year we, too, are all amazed at how the fall semester flies by!
It seems like just yesterday that you were standing behind them
at the Candlelight Ceremony as we officially welcomed our newest
Bonnies to our family.
You may remember the jitters, the anxiety
and that first wave of homesickness. Most of our first-year students
have settled in and all that is behind them, now replaced by an
ability to deal with the unexpected and the willingness to face
and manage change. I’ve seen both our resident and commuter
students emerge as active and involved Bonnies. The Class of 2104
has become just that – a class – with an emerging identity
on our campus.
We are delighted to have your student as part
of the SBU family and look forward to spending the next three-and-one-half
years with them.
We trust that your son or daughter has had
a good “first-half of the first year” experience. We
know that they are looking forward to coming home (don’t be
surprised at how much they sleep when they get there) and having
some serious down-time. They deserve it. We are happy to send them
home, hopefully with a sense of accomplishment, but we will be even
happier to have them back again in January to begin the second half
of their first-year journey.
From our family to yours we send our very
best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy
Director, First-Year Experience
for the holidays
This week, your student will return home from
St. Bonaventure for a month-long vacation.
for the last four months, your student has been setting her own
schedule and making her own decisions. For most students, this is
vastly different than life before college.
While you’ve been at home, your child
has been growing, developing and maturing, said Chris Brown, coordinator
for residential education and housing.
Your schedule has likely not changed much
since August. Your student, however, has completely rearranged his
life and sleeping schedule to meet the demands of classes and the
homework that comes with it. When he gets home, his sleep cycle
may be a little different than what you remembered.
And for the past four months, your student
has been able to do whatever he wants when he wants to do it. For
parents, that may lead to a difficult adjustment.
These changes and others can easily lead to
frustration and tension between students and parents. Brown suggests
a way to ease that frustration before it happens: Talk to your child.
“Sit down and have that conversation
about your (the parents’) expectations right away, right from
the get-go,” Brown said. “Maybe even on the ride home
so that the expectations aren’t a surprise. Even if they’re
the exact same expectations that the parent had during high school,
the student doesn’t necessarily assume that they’re
the same. So if the parent wanted him to check in when he goes to
a friend’s house and that’s still an expectation, the
parent needs to say that out loud to him.
“They’re (students) out of the habit of doing those
things … or they may not think of it,” he added. Talking
about the rules early can save both you and your student a lot of
Once your student has settled back into the
routines of home, Brown said it would be a good idea to talk about
grades, good or bad.
Remember, he noted, time at home for winter
break also means time for your student to reconnect with friends
from high school. That means you will have to share your student’s
at-home time with her friends.
Even before you get your student home, you
will face a big question: What to bring home for the break? Some
students barely take anything, while others take so much it looks
like they’ve moved out of the residence hall.
Brown suggests some ideas to find the happy medium:
1. Bring valuables: computer, iPod, stereo – anything that
you would not trust being in an unoccupied room for four weeks.
2. Only bring enough clothes to get your student through a month.
3. If your student brought too much when she first came to school
in August, now’s the time to lug it back and get some room
back in that residence hall room!
After two or three weeks, you may hear your
student talking about missing “home.” You may be thinking,
“she is already home,” but she now has two places that
feel like “home.”
Don’t worry – this is a good thing.
That means that the place you sent her off to four months ago was
a good choice. Bona’s doesn’t replace the home you’ve
made for her; it just is another place she loves enough to call
The four weeks you have with your student
should be filled with fun and great memories, but it is a test for
what is to come this summer, Brown said. During the summer, your
student will be home for about three months. You can work out the
adjustment problems now, leaving your student’s return home
at the end of freshman year to go much more smoothly.
Class of 2013
It's not too late to
Your son or daughter has almost completed
the first semester at St. Bonaventure University. He or she probably
talked to you about getting involved with one or several of the
more than 80 clubs and organizations on the SBU campus. If not,
or if your student hasn’t gotten involved on campus, holiday
break would be a perfect time to talk to him or her about joining
one or more organizations.
University officials recommend getting involved
on a college. Joining a club or organization helps to make new friends.
It also helps students develop leadership skills and adds to their
SBU offers an organization fair at the beginning
of each academic year. But if your student missed that, or is looking
for new ways to get involved, most clubs and organizations will
offer interest meetings at the beginning of each semester. Students
can also contact the organization’s president or other club
officers to become involved.
Here are a few places where your student could
WSBU-FM, or “The Buzz,” Bonaventure’s
student-run radio station, broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year. The radio station has been on the air since 1947.
Who can join? Any undergraduate student can
join. Students may be able to have their own radio shows, write
music reviews for the music department or work for the radio station’s
publication, “The Buzzworthy.” The radio station also
has news, sports and marketing departments.
WSBU, with more than 300 active members, is
one of the largest clubs on campus. It is governed by a 16-member
board of directors.
For more information about WSBU-FM, your student
can contact Zach Witzel, station manager, at email@example.com.
SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise, is a student
service organization that develops local and international projects
that add value to the community. Locally, SIFE members teach entrepreneurship
to children in the Olean community. They also help in the Bahamas
with Operation Bootup (installing computers in elementary schools
throughout the island), and teach entrepreneurship and global economics
to school children.
Who can join? Any student can join SIFE. Freshmen
and new members work with “Tier One” projects, helping
with such events as the annual Polar Plunge and blood drives on
campus. Once a student is an active member, she is given additional
tasks and is a member of the “leadership team.”
SIFE has 150 active members. More information
is available from the SIFE president, Abhi Aggarwal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MERT, the Medical Emergency Response Team,
provides aid at the EMT-B level for anyone on campus. MERT’S
primary goal is to provide help during a medical emergency, but
the team also provides training to the EMT level for its members.
They also teach CPR and defibrillation techniques to anyone who
Who can join? Any student, including graduate
students, can join MERT. MERT has 60 active members. More information
is available from President Divya Kurian at email@example.com.
The Laurel, the creative writing magazine
on campus, is the oldest student-run magazine of any kind on any
college campus, dating back 112 years. The Laurel features original
works from members of the Bonaventure community, including poetry,
prose, short stories, original artwork and photography. A new issue
of the magazine is published every semester.
New members work on promoting the magazine
to get students to submit work. Members seek and review submissions
from the Bonaventure community and promote the magazine on campus.
Staffers lay out the magazine, help design the front and back covers
and distribute the magazine across campus when it’s published.
Who can join? Any student can join the Laurel.
The club currently has about 15 active members. More information
is available from co-president Chris Radey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEA, the Bonaventure Education Association,
is a club for students who want to further their experiences as
potential teachers. Members are offered a variety of education-related
BEA has about 25 active members. More information is available from
Emily Call, co-president of BEA, at email@example.com.
The Psychology Club works to offer interested
students opportunities to enhance their academic performance by
hosting different programs throughout the year. The programs include
off-campus trips to psychiatric facilities, career panels, graduate
information sessions and guest speakers.
Two new programs the club is sponsoring are
Brain Awareness Week, scheduled for March 14-20, and Out of Darkness,
a suicide prevention walk, scheduled for April 9.
The Psychology Club has about 20 members.
More information is available from president Jessie Briggs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That is just a sampling of the clubs and organizations
on the SBU campus. Hopefully this list provided you with ideas for
conversations with your student about getting involved on campus.
Since SBU is a relatively small campus, it
is also easy to become a board member or even a president of an
organization. For a complete list of organizations on campus, visit
Class of 2013